Microsoft has a bunch of new Xbox IPs in development at its newly-fortified Xbox Game Studios platform, and most of them should be franchises rather than one-and-done experiences.
Microsoft has clear ambitions for its new wholly-owned IPs: To turn them into engagement-driven titles that can stretch across entire generations and easily translate to other platforms. In a recent interview with MCV UK, Xbox Game Studios boss Matt Booty lightly discusses this new plan. Essentially Microsoft wants to invest in IPs that will carry across years similar to Halo and Minecraft, while tying into transmedia content to boot. This strongly hints new IPs from Obsidian and The Coalition could be heavy-hitters.
"We need to continue building characters, stories, and worlds that can transcend generations, devices, and platforms," Booty said.
"I think we are lucky to have worlds and universes like Halo, where there's characters that can support TV series, books, comic books and all kinds of games. Things like Minecraft can ship on 23 platforms, and we just need to stay focused on building those kinds of things that really will be generational and last for a while. And I think that if we do that the rest will take care of itself."
This motivation synergizes perfectly with Microsoft's focus on engagement, which sees its games typically incorporating online elements that're monetized and flow with the emphasis on services and subscriptions. All first-party games are coming to Game Pass and PC too, maximizing visibility and accessibility between platforms and price points.
Luckily Microsoft isn't mandating that all first-party games have microtransactions or online content. The Game Pass Effect, which makes money from subscriptions, may even replace the push for monetization in big games. That's a big if though and I suspect games like Halo, Gears of War, and Forza will still have in-game purchases.
Here's how Xbox Game Studios' lineup looks like right now:
- 343 Industries - Halo: Infinite
- Obsidian - Grounded, unannounced new RPG
- Turn10 Studios - Forza 7
- The Initiative - Unannounced project
- inXile - Wasteland 3
- Playground Games - Fable 4?
- Double Fine - Psychonauts 2
- RARE - Everwild, Sea of Thieves
- Mojang - Minecraft
- Ninja Theory - Bleeding Edge, Hellblade II: Senua's Saga
- Undead Labs - State of Decay 2